Friday, January 19, 2007

Albums That I Love # 8: The Rising Tied

Rising Tied

The Rising Tied by Fort Minor is the first solo-project album from Linkin Park's keyboardist/rapper Mike Shinoda. It, of course, features some guest performances, but the real star of this album is the sound. Shinoda has done a great job with the music of this album, and I think that's where it really stands out. Its not another run-of-the-mill rap album. The sound quality of the music and the beats is a step above average.

I've been a little bit hesitant to include an album that I just discovered this year on this list, given that its yet to stand the test of time like the other album's I've reviewed to date have. But I just really like so many of the songs on this album and I think that it deserves a little more recognition than its gotten.

You might be familiar with songs like "Remember the Name" that was featured prominently in TNT's NBA playoff coverage last year or "Where'd You Go" that got a lot of radio airplay, at least here in Salt Lake. Aside from those two singles, other standout tracks include "In Stereo", "Right Now", "Believe Me", "Get Me Gone", "High Road", and "Kenji". That said, the album is great for listening to straight through.

Please be aware that the unedited version of this album does contain explicit lyrics. If you are looking for clean versions, try Wal-Mart or the iTunes Music Store.

Track Listing:

1. Introduction
Just a quick sound bite of someone (Jay-Z?) talking about how it has "big sound".

2. Remember the Name

A great song about getting respect in the rap game, not for spending money, but for making great songs.

3. Right Now
A song that paints the picture of a city scene, jumping from one person to the next, giving a one- or two-line glimpse into the lives of the people we see there.

4. Petrified
5. Feel Like Home

6. Where'd You Go
A song about being on the road, told from the perspective of those left behind at home. Love the piano playing under the beats. If you haven't heard it, you definitely need to check it out.

7. In Stereo
This song about trying out new beats out on the street has some hot beats.

8. Back Home
9. Cigarettes

10. Believe Me

One of my most favorite songs on this album, it just sounds incredible. I've heard the beats used on the Dan Patrick radio show. Not just electronic beats though, its got good string instruments playing along.

11. Get Me Gone
A brief (one verse) song talking about how when Linkin Park was first signed, their producer tried to convince Mike to just play the keyboard, and the rumor that ghostwriters wrote their songs for them.

12. High Road
Another of my most favorite songs. This one builds a lot on "Get Me Gone" theme of being disrespected. Features some the piano stylings of John Legend and they really make the song sound great.

13. Kenji
This song tells the story of Mike's grandfather and the Japanese internment camps during WWII, something we don't hear much about, especially in rap songs. This one features sound recordings from actual internees.

14. Red to Black

15. Battle
A quick sample from a rap battle. Honestly, I know that the rapper in the clip, Celph Titled, is on the Machine Shop label, but I'm not sure what this track is doing here.

16. Slip Out the Back


Randall said...

Yo fool! You know I'm into fort minor, being my cell ringtone and all. (self created)

j said...

Yes. When I heard your ring tone I knew that must be a cool guy. And that was before I even knew all the rest about you.